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Working drawings for the basement offices, 21 January - 17 July 1801 (4)


The four drawings in this group show a much more detailed approach to the planning of the house than has previously been encountered. Of drawings 106 to 109, two are evidently at least partial copies of the third. The Dance wing is retained within this scheme and the beginnings of a plan for the service wing are shown. Soane was concerned with the visual effect of this addition and in drawing 107 has sketched in trees and vegetation - presumably to disguise the wing (just as he had done with the Dance wing before). The small plan of the house and driveway, sketched in red pen on drawing 106, also shows Soane's concern with the symmetry and appearance of the structure - the service wing balances out the Dance wing (to some extent).

Drawing 108 indicates a further portion to be added to the service wing (in pencil). Drawing 109 shows extensive re-workings and sketching in Soane's hand. It includes a small flier (over part of a room in the service wing) that provides an alternative plan for some sinks. The driveway is drawn in as well as a line of trees forming the park perimeter and a very rough design for the gated entrance is given (fairly close to its final position in relation to the house). A small elevational sketch of the basement on its lawn front is also shown in the margin.

NB Drawing 109 also has two further dates in pencil - July 21 1800 with Mr Way and aug: 30:1801. These suggest that this particular drawing saw many reworkings, from an original survey drawing (a feint pencil design can be seen underneath) to the brown pen sketches in Soane's hand.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).  

Contents of Working drawings for the basement offices, 21 January - 17 July 1801 (4)